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Welcome to the ICBS Discovery e-NewsBrief from the International Chemical Biology Society. This is a free, bi-weekly digest of headlines and news related to the chemical biology field. With a variety of stories selected from media outlets around the world, we hope you will find this publication informative. The e-NewsBrief will arrive in your email inbox every other Thursday.

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Anthrax may deliver cancer drugs with efficient injection method
Science World Report
Anthrax, also known as Bacillus anthracis bacteria, have a very efficient method when it comes to injecting toxic proteins into cells. Now, scientists are recruiting anthrax and its delivery system in order to administer cancer drugs. "Anthrax toxin is a professional at delivering large enzymes into cells," said Bradley Pentelute, one of the researchers. "We wondered if we could render anthrax toxin nontoxic, and use it as a platform to deliver antibody drugs into cells."
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The quest for new antibiotics turns back to nature, genetics
By Rosemary Sparacio
With antibiotic resistance becoming an increasing problem in medical treatment, the search is on for new antibiotics, new sources for those antibiotics and new mechanisms. For thousands of years people have used products found in nature for their medicinal properties. A return to nature may be the next area in which we find antibiotics. Smaller pharmaceutical companies are still pursuing research and manufacturing, and they are submitting regulatory documents for new antibiotics to the FDA for their approval. But perhaps more promising is the work being done to look for novel mechanisms and to explore different areas in the search.
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Unlocking enzyme synthesis of rare sugars creates lower-side-effect drugs
R&D Magazine
A team led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has unlocked the enzymatic synthesis process of rare sugars, which are useful in developing drugs with low side effects using a process more friendly to the environment. In a paper published in Structure, the research team reported the pioneering use of neutron and X-ray crystallography and high-performance computing to study how the enzyme D-xylose isomerase can cause a biochemical reaction in natural sugar to produce rare sugars.
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Brain chemical potential new hope in controlling Tourette syndrome
Neuroscience News
A chemical in the brain plays a vital role in controlling the involuntary movements and vocal tics associated with Tourette syndrome, a new study has shown. The research by psychologists at The University of Nottingham, published in the latest edition of the journal Current Biology, could offer a potential new target for the development of more effective treatments to suppress these unwanted symptoms.
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Quirky activation of common enzyme points to new antiparisitics
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
An enzyme common to parasites and people would hardly seem a promising drug target. Yes, a drug that could interfere with such an enzyme might kill a deadly parasite, but it might as easily harm the parasite's host. So, when it comes to blocking the activity of common enzymes, forbearance is the better part of care. But perhaps not always.
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Marker blood test helps detect pancreatic cancer early
Science World Report
Pancreatic cancer is responsible for roughly 40,000 American deaths annually — an issue that can be particularly difficult to diagnose, according to health officials. Now, scientists believe they have discovered a marker blood test that could help detect the health issue early on. More information regarding the findings are documented in the journal Nature Medicine.
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High-speed drug screen developed
R&D Magazine
Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers have devised a way to rapidly test hundreds of different drug-delivery vehicles in living animals, making it easier to discover promising new ways to deliver a class of drugs called biologics, which includes antibodies, peptides, RNA and DNA, to human patients. In a study appearing in Integrative Biology, the researchers used this technology to identify materials that can efficiently deliver RNA to zebrafish and also to rodents.
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Study uncovers genetic driver of inflammation, uses it to treat liver cancer
Medical Xpress
Inflammation has been shown to be a driving force behind many chronic diseases, especially liver cancer, which often develops due to chronic inflammation caused by conditions such as viral hepatitis or alcoholism and has relatively few effective treatment options. Now, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have demonstrated for the first time in preclinical studies that blocking the expression of a gene known as astrocyte elevated gene-1 halts the development and progression of liver cancer by regulating inflammation.
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ICBS Discovery
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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